Learning how to write a philosophy essay is no simple task and its requirements are somewhat different from those in other disciplines.
A philosophy essay is not a report of empirical findings, nor a review of what others have said on a particular issue. It is neither an exercise in creative interpretation nor an opportunity to indulge in literary self-expression.
Rather, it is best thought of as an extended argument in defence of a particular claim. As such, its structure must be clear to the reader from the outset. Ideally, your argument should commence with the very first sentence. There should be a logical progression of ideas, with each paragraph constituting a logical step in the argument.
A philosophy essay, then, requires a particularly clear structure. Every step in the argument should be clearly signposted, and the reader should never be left wondering where the argument is going or why a particular point is being made.
Nothing should appear in your essay that does not contribute to the overall argument, and every disputable claim should be defended with rigorous, maximally logical arguments. You must not only be able to demonstrate that you have a clear understanding of the issues, and the structure of the arguments used to establish particular claims, but also be able to rationally evaluate those arguments.
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